On Friday, September 7, your television screen will be monopolized by one show: the StandUp2Cancer fundraising telecast (a.k.a. telethon). According to its Website, "ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC are donating one hour of simultaneous commercial-free primetime for the nationally televised fundraising specialů to be broadcast live from the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles."
The idea behind SU2C is that "participating talent" (celebrities) man the phones as well as a "multi-media bank" that allows viewers (potential contributors) an opportunity to interact with them. Viewers can donate online, via text, or by calling in, and "100 percent of all public donations go directly to cancer research."
You can follow them on Facebook and Twitter, and you can also get t-shirts, caps, and coffee cups on the SU2C online shop. Do I sound skeptical?
I'm not someone who loves the monetizing of cancer (as you can read on my blog, Stop the Pink), and I assumed that was what SU2C was -- another way for famous people to look as though they're doing something while actually just making a boatload of money. However, after talking to my fellow community editor Michelle Bragazzi (who was an oncology nurse and clinical researcher), I may give SU2C a break.
Bragazzi says that the SU2C process for funded research is rigorous and extensive. According to its Website:
To date, more than $180 million has been pledged for SU2C's innovative cancer research. Since 2008, SU2C has made grants to seven multi-disciplinary 'Dream Teams' of researchers as well as to 26 young innovative scientists who are undertaking high-risk, potentially high-reward projects to end the reign of cancer as a leading cause of death in the world today. Sixty-eight institutions are currently involved.
These Dream Teams include:
- The SU2C Epigenetics Dream Team
- The SU2C Pancreatic Cancer Dream Team
- The SU2C PI3K Pathway Dream Team
- The SU2C Breast Cancer Dream Team
- The SU2C Circulating Tumor Cell (CTC) Chip Dream Team
- The SU2C-MRA Melanoma Dream Team
- The SU2C-PCF Prostate Dream Team
To learn more about these Teams, please read the American Association for Cancer Research's press release "Stand Up To Cancer" Returns to Prime Time for its Third Star-studded Broadcast on September 7
What do you think of StandUp2Cancer? Is it an ingenious way to harness American culture's "love of celebrity" for a good cause, or a waste of time? What do your patients think?